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Break Time’s Over

June 29, 2015

So Pride was nice. It was fun. It was jubilant. OK, not all of it. A~ wrote about the extremely unpleasant family who sat in front of us and tried to own space like she and I don’t do that for a living.

So that didn’t work out so well for them.

I got to hold a rainbow bordered BLACK LIVES MATTER sign that some people had an extra of. A~ went to get it for me and then I claimed and held it because one of the very few privileges of Blackness is that I get to carry the BLM signs. Lots of people responded extremely well including Senator Franken whose hand I have been trying to shake for two years. I got to shake it this time. So that was nice. We had fun, got candy, met some nice people on the route like we do every year.

And then we came home, because I don’t eat street food and I don’t love huge crowds of strangers. So we didn’t go to the park and we didn’t see the #BlackLivesMatter protesters who stood up and spoke out for both the lives of People of Color today and the People of Color who risked their lives in the past so that all Gender and Sexual Minorities can live out and proud.

I’m glad I wasn’t there to see it because my reaction what happened after they got up to speak would have probably led to some sort of bail requirement and we don’t have that kind of money.

Black Lives Pride

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK? This isn’t the only thing. There were a number of people on the #TCPride feed whose primary reaction seemed to be “why can’t we just have fun and celebrate?” Sadly I didn’t get screen shots of those people and their tweets. If I had I would post them because they should be shamed and if they aren’t I am more than willing to help them along.

Because fuck their entitlement, that’s why. Because we exist and if part of them having fun requires us to stand silent then, no fun for them. Because PoC started this whole fucking movement. Because we exist. Because we have value. Because we are dying at a prodigious rate and that is not something that anyone should ever ignore. Because we are part of this fucking community. Because we did a hell of a lot of work to get this community as far as it has gotten and you’re damn right we expect you to do the same for us. Because anyone who doesn’t have the basic human compassion to both feel joy and concenr about someone else’s pain simultaneously shouldn’t be allowed to interact with other humans unsupervised and certainly isn’t on my team.

Because even under all those rainbows and glitter and tears and joy, I’m still in danger every day not only because I am a woman in a relationship with another woman but because of my skin. All day, every day, even during Pride.

So here’s the thing, I’m happy that you’re happy. I’m happy too. We’re all happy. And now that the rainbows and glitter have been cleaned up from the streets, we still have a ton of work to do until the GSM community and the Black community come anywhere close to real, full equality.

I’m glad you had fun at Pride. That is good. That is part of what Pride is for. But here, at least, Pride is over now and so is your break.

Let’s get back to work.

Mainstream Pride

June 29, 2015

Originally posted on Rose Colored Ramblings:

My first Pride was a cathartic experience.

Two years ago I had moved from the overt ignorance and bigotry from the south, to the soothing balm Minnesota Nice. There is still ignorance and racism here, but it’s a different brand. And I when I tried to explain the discrimination I faced as a GSM (Gender Sexual Minority) the Nice Minnesotans started with confusion, and then would say something along the lines of “people shouldn’t be like that”.

It had been a long journey for me, from deeply closeted, to carefully testing the real world and finally becoming Out Loud. Vocal, visible, and refusing to be closeted by the use of the word “friend” in regards to my girlfriend. Especially after I just called her that.

My girlfriend T and I had just dragged our cat and belongings across the country for a fresh start, and we had moved in with…

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Nope

June 25, 2015

Nope to this

Made of nope

Made of nope

Confederate lives are not a thing. Confederates are people who rose in traitorous insurrection against their country and were soundly defeated. All Confederates are dead because that’s how time and aging work. Unless your name is Bill and you live in Bon Temps and you have a serious sun allergy, you are not a Confederate.

You’re just some white person deifying a false narrative which glorifies traitors. Not impressive.

Nope to Hilary Clinton invoking All Lives Matter mere miles from Ferguson.

We already know white lives matter. That is the point we are making.

She’s running the same campaign she ran in ’08 and it is still not impressive.

Burn that phrase down

Burn that phrase down

Nope to all of it. Nope to bullshit for the rest of the weekend. I’m taking some self care days. Sunday is pride and I am going to celebrate with my girlfriend.

The Comments

June 24, 2015

Ah my friends and oh my foes the fucking comments.

I’ve gotten a lot of them.

You’ve seen very few.

Why?

Because I control the comment section. That’s what moderated comments means. And I know, I know, never read the comments. But it’s my blog so I kind of don’t have a choice.

So yeah, I got a few of the standard death and rape threats.

This can’t be a surprise. I’m a woman on the internet. I get at least one each, every week. So that was nothing new.

I also got a remarkably large number of self-identified White Feminists™ who decided to go the Patricia Arquette route and tell me all about how I, as a Black woman, don’t really understand how good they are to us and how grateful we should be to them.

Hey, guess, what, I really do understand, I am not grateful and you still need to get your shit together.

A~ already gave you the overview of how to weaponize your privilege on behalf of the marginalized, which was the most common Twitter question. You should go read that. It’s pretty brilliant.

She is exactly this scarey when roused.

She is exactly this scarey when roused.

But I want to talk to about how she goes about this. Because that isn’t just brilliant, it’s a work of art. It award worthy. She literally presses a hand to her bosom, lets her eyes get wet so she can blink back her fake tears and even manages to sound convincing when she stutters over her canned, pre-packaged sentence.

“I-I think…I really think we should listen to [insert marginalized person whose voice has been ignored.]” And then she does it again. And she does it again. She wedges herself into conversations and wriggles just enough to form a space for marginalized people. It is a delight.

It’s also exactly the kind of weaponized privilege that is expected of all of you.

 

White Privilege Xenomorph

June 24, 2015

 White Privilege Xenomorph.

In case anyone is confused as to why I love her. This is one of many reasons.

 

The Confederate Flag Is Not The Problem

June 22, 2015

It’s a symbol of the problem. And taking the flag down isn’t a solution to the problem. It’s simply the removal of one of the many symbols of White Supremacy.

Which is good.Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that the flag is being removed, if for no other reason than it is really sending racists right ’round the bend. And I am entertained by that.

Not nice. Just honest.

But even as she finally got on board with the idea that maybe the symbol of secession is not the best way to represent a state in the Union, Nikki Haley was making it clear that she does not give one shit about the larger conversation about race in America.

We were able to start that process, not by issues — talking about issues that divide us, but by holding vigils. By hugging neighbors, by honoring those we lost, and by falling to our knees in prayer.

She’s honestly touting the fact that she and the other people in the government didn’t talk about “issues.” Pro tip: If you are a member of any kind of government, you should not be proud of your failure to have discussions, especially difficult ones.

We were recently named the friendliest state in the country.

If you’re white. Not so much for Black people. Just ask Walter Scott…oh, wait.

For many people in our state the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage and of ancestry.

The hate-filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people of our state who respect, and in many ways, revere it.

No, he really hasn’t. It’s a battle flag of a group who revolted against the United States in an effort to keep their slaves. It’s a symbol of slavery and racism. He got it exactly right!

Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity and duty. They also see it as a memorial. A way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism.

Yes it is.

But the statehouse is different. And the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way.

This speech was vetted. This speech went through the hands of many people who are paid to write words. These people know language. These weasel words aren’t an accident. This week made things different. Not the past 15 years, or 150 years. Not the voices of Black citizens who didn’t want that flag representing them. Nope. It took perfect victims and a weekend of really thinking about what the flag means.

It means racism. He got it exactly right.

But fine, OK fine. The flag is coming down. I’m very glad for everyone who thinks that is important. It’s not, but, I’m glad it’ll make you feel better.

When you’re done celebrating Could we look at the fact that Republicans still won’t admit the cause of this shooting was race, the government won’t call the shooting domestic terrorism, the whole world seems to think that the goal is forgiveness and not, you know, justice.

If you focus on the symbol, you can’t solve the problem.

Feminist Homework #NotInMyName

June 21, 2015

If you are an ally, doing the work of an ally then thank you. Now step aside. I’m not talking to you.

Dear White Women,

Remember the last time we talked? When I took you by the hand and led you gently and sweetly through the many reasons that you should care about the lives of Black people? Remember how I pointed out that the abuse that a majority of you have survived is analogous to the abuse that America heaps upon its citizens with dark skin?

The hand holding is over now.

Get your shit together.

Nine people are dead.

Six of them were women.

He killed them in your name.

The racists in this country think you are so weak, and so pathetic, and frankly not entirely adult, human people who can think and act for themselves that they kill us in your name. In their eyes you are things, property which needs to be guarded and defended and as such, you’re an excuse to walk into a church and kill people while they pray.

He killed them in your name.

He killed them in your name because he wanted to “start a race war.” He wanted to start one. As if the race war isn’t something that was started in the 1600s. As if this attack isn’t just one more salvo in that war. As if these nine human beings, these five women,aren’t more casualties of that war.

Cynthia Hurd, she worked at the library. She dedicated her life to books, to sharing books with other people.

Depayne Middleton Doctor, was a devout woman who devoted her life to her church and her family.

Myra Thompson, she loved her church and the historic buildings of that church and her family and her friends.

Susie Jackson, she mothered everyone who knew her. That’s what they are all saying, She mothered you and loved you and taught you to do right.

Ethel Lance, she loved to dress up and take her family to the theater where she was a custodian for 30 years. No, not the movies, the theater. Black people do that too.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was everything to the people in her life, teacher, coach, mother, leader.

She was everything.

They were everything.

Their lives mattered.

#Black Lives Matter

And now they are dead.

They are dead in your name.

And it’s time for you to care. It’s time for you to do something, because we are done holding your hands.

These people were the perfect victims. They were literally sitting in their church, I would assume with their pants pulled up acceptably high, singing acceptable songs being acceptably Black and they are still dead. There was nowhere that anyone who is rational with a functional soul could go to insist that they somehow brought their deaths upon themselves, which hasn’t stopped people from trying, of course, but it’s not working.

They were perfect and that is the only reason that even the comparatively small amount of public mourning over their deaths is happening.

But they are still dead in your name.

Jon Stewart Serious

This one is black and white.

This. One.

Since I last wrote to you a man has been shot in the back while running for his life, a man was shot in the head while asking for help, a man had his spine severed while handcuffed in the back of a police van and you have sat idly by, worse than that, you have made it clear that you think that those people deserved it. You have demanded that we defend their right to exist while Black and implicitly or explicitly stated that our anger had no foundation and those lives had no value.

But, you know, this one is unambiguous.

In that time when something happened to one of you or if you wanted to talk about the pay gap or reproductive rights or anything else that actually matters to you, you looked to us and demanded our solidarity.

You looked to us and expected us to fall into lie and when we didn’t because you were still making it as clear as you possibly could that you didn’t want to hear about our unimportant concerns you told us we were not really feminists.

Don’t believe me? This happened yesterday.

Women's Rights News2

Just one of literally twenty plus examples of this conversation I’ve had in the past two days. I redacted the names because the women who wrote those things aren’t alone and singling them out won’t serve the purpose I have here.

What purpose?

To tell you that you need to get your shit together. I believe I mentioned that previously.

Some of you are currently wondering what to do. That is good.

Some of you are currently gearing up to type something about how I am mean or how you think if I just let you police my tone or if Black people would just do some impossible thing to prove our value then you could be moved to care. That is not good. That is racist.

For those of you in the second group I want you to scroll back to the top of this blog, read the tag line under the title, go here, then go here. Then ask yourself whether or not your attempts to preserve and defend your privilege is something I am even remotely interested in right now. Here’s a hint. No I am not. Stop typing.

Those of you in the first you in the first group should listen up. This is what you need to do.

You need to reject the kind of paternal misogynistic bullshit that leads white men to kill us in your name. You need to stop accepting your status as delicate flower in need of protection all the time, not just when that rejection serves your issues. If you aren’t rejecting it all of the time, then you’re accepting it some of the time and that makes you a part of the thing that is killing Black people..You need to say that this was not done in your name. You need to put it on your Facebook page and your Tumblr #NotInMyName should be trending based on the work you put in to reject this act of terrorism and the racism behind it. You need to make that a part of your daily mantra online and in person. You have to do this work because I’m tired. We’re all tired and we’re still mourning our dead. You have to do this work because if Black people could have ended White Supremacy, we would have done that by now. You have to do it and when you’re done with that work, you have to come back and pick up more work to do.

Here are your assignments: Listen to us, not talk about how you don’t like being told that you benefit from White Supremacy. Never deny that you benefit from White Supremacy. Be led, never try to take over leadership in anti-racist groups or spaces. Erase any inkling of the vestigial urge to take things personally when we talk about White Women™ and White Feminism™. Dry your tears when they come as a result of someone pointing out the things you do that foster White Supremacy. Learn to give a proper apology when you do something that fosters White Supremacy. Weaponize your privilege on behalf of the marginalized. If you do these things you will have made a good start.

In short, get your shit together. It is long past time.

Edited to add the sixth name. In my defense, there may have been some crying while I was writing this.

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